Reviewer Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in signing up to be a reviewer for the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. We would like to thank those of you who have reviewed in the past and welcome those of you who are new to reviewing. We encourage you to take the guidelines to heart as the quality of the Annual Meeting Program is based upon the reviews you provide for the Division and Interest Group Program Chairs and the Teaching and Learning Conference. Thank you in advance for the service you are willing to offer as a reviewer and we hope to see you in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in August 2020.

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Setting the Tone of the Review

Please keep your comments constructive. If the problems that you identify cannot be fixed, try to provide the authors with constructive ideas for how they might improve upon their submission as they develop their research. It is also important to try to identify the strengths of a manuscript to help the author(s) improve their work. One of the greatest services that Division reviewers perform is the development of the research of members who submit their work. Identify areas of weakness in a manuscript, but also provide specific guidance on how the authors might address the limitations you have noted. The more specificity you provide in your review, the more likely it is that the authors will benefit from your efforts.

Authors deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of your evaluation of their work. Remember, you are representing the particular Division with your review and ultimately the AOM. Please try to be open-minded to different authors using different theoretical frameworks. Try to judge manuscripts based on how well they stimulate thinking and discussion. Also, keep in mind that many AOM members come from disciplinary backgrounds and research traditions with diverse theoretical and methodological orientations.

Review Format

You must submit your review within the timelines provided. There is no slack in the program schedule. Provide a structured review by separating and numbering comments. Also, where appropriate, cite specific page numbers, passages, tables, and figures in your review.If you are uncertain about your comments in terms of some aspects of your review, please do your best to determine the accuracy of your position. Remember that inaccuracies in your review reflect on the division you are reviewing for as a whole as well as on AOM. Do not provide information in your review that reveals your identity and do not seek to discover the identity of the authors. This protects the integrity of the "double-blind" review process. A good review is typically 1 single-spaced page in length.

This year through the Centralized Reviewer System, we hope to increase the number of reviewers for each Division and Interest Group (DIG), in order to decrease the number of submissions each reviewer has to evaluate. When you sign up to review for a DIG, you commit to reviewing up to 3 papers. It is our overall goal to have you review fewer submissions, and provide higher-quality, division reviews.

General Areas to Cover

In addition to commenting on the theoretical development of a submission and the technical correctness of the methodology, you should also consider the overall value-added contribution the submission offers. Does the submission pass the so what test? Also, consider whether the submission has any practical value, and comment on its implications for the practice community.

Symposia Review Questions to Ask

Does the proposal reflect the overall level of quality an audience would expect when attending a symposium? 

Would the proposed session be of interest to a sufficient number of Division members and other AOM members? 

Does the proposal offer sufficient innovation and contribution to warrant program space?

Specific Areas to Consider

The following points are some suggested criteria that might help you structure your evaluations of the submissions sent to you.


  1. Is there a clear research question, with a solid motivation behind it?
  2. Is the research question interesting?
  3. After reading the introduction, did you find yourself motivated to read further?


  1. Does the submission contain a well-developed and articulated theoretical framework?
  2. Are the core concepts of the submission clearly defined?
  3. Is the logic behind the hypotheses persuasive?
  4. Is extant literature appropriately reflected in the submission, or are critical references missing?
  5. Do the hypotheses or propositions logically flow from the theory?

Method (for empirical papers)

  1. Are the sample and variables appropriate for the hypotheses?
  2. Is the data collection method consistent with the analytical technique(s) applied?
  3. Does the study have internal and external validity?
  4. Are the analytical techniques appropriate for the theory and research questions and were they applied appropriately?

Results (for empirical papers)

  1. Are the results reported in an understandable way?
  2. Are there alternative explanations for the results, and if so, are these adequately controlled for in the analyses?


  1. Does the submission make a value-added contribution to existing research?
  2. Does the submission stimulate thought or debate?
  3. Do the authors discuss the implications of the work for the scientific and practice community?

These guidelines were from the Organizational Behavior Division Reviewer Guidelines which were adapted from reviewer guidelines developed by Catherine Daily and Albert A. Cannella Jr. for the Business Policy and Strategy Division and for use in a BPS Professional Development Workshop on reviewing sponsored by the Academy of Management Review (AMR) and the Academy of Management Journal (AMJ). Don Bergh, Javier Gimeno, Bruce Avolio, and David Ketchen also contributed to the revision of these guidelines. We would like to thank both the BPS and OB Divisions for their willingness to share these reviewer guidelines for the benefit of everyone.

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